Columbia Israel Divestment Protests Turn Ugly

On-campus classes have been suspended and Jewish students told to find safety.

I didn’t think all that much of it when Columbia University’s president called in police to break up a small sit-in a few days back. But the situation has since turned into a full-blown crisis, with even the White House forced to issue statements.

CNN (“Columbia University faces full-blown crisis as rabbi calls for Jewish students to ‘return home’“):

Columbia University is facing a full-blown crisis heading into Passover as a rabbi linked to the Ivy League school urged Jewish students to stay home and tense confrontations on campus sparked condemnation from the White House and New York officials.

The atmosphere is so charged that Columbia officials announced students can attend classes and even possibly take exams virtually starting Monday – the first day of Passover, a major Jewish holiday set to begin in the evening.

Tensions at Columbia, and many universities, have been high ever since the October 7 terror attack on Israel by Hamas. However, the situation at Columbia escalated in recent days after university officials testified before Congress last week about antisemitism on campus and pro-Palestinian protests on and near campus surged.

The latest crisis has opened Columbia President Minouche Shafik up to new attacks from her critics, with Republican US Rep. Elise Stefanik demanding she step down immediately because school leadership has “clearly lost control of its campus.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx, the Republican chair of the House Education Committee, sent a letter on Sunday to university leaders warning them of consequences if they do not rein in protests on campus.

“Columbia’s continued failure to restore order and safety promptly to campus constitutes a major breach of the University’s Title VI obligations, upon which federal financial assistance is contingent, and which must immediately be rectified,” Foxx wrote.

Underscoring concerns about student safety, Rabbi Elie Buechler, a rabbi associated with Columbia University’s Orthodox Union Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, confirmed to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that he sent a WhatsApp message to a group of about 300 mostly Orthodox Jewish students “strongly” recommending they return home and remain there.

In his message, Buechler wrote that recent events at the university “have made it clear that Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety.”

“It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved,” the message reads.

The situation at Columbia has even drawn the attention of the White House, joining local leaders in urging calm.

“While every American has the right to peaceful protest, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement shared with CNN on Sunday. The statement did not include examples of those incidents.

President Joe Biden similarly said Sunday, “Even in recent days, we’ve seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews. This blatant antisemitism is reprehensible and dangerous – and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country.”

In response, organizers of the protest — Columbia University Apartheid Divest and Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine — said in a statement, “We have been peaceful,” and distanced themselves from non-student protestors who have gathered outside the campus, calling them “inflammatory individuals who do not represent us.”

“We firmly reject any form of hate or bigotry and stand vigilant against non-students attempting to disrupt the solidarity being forged among students – Palestinian, Muslim, Arab, Jewish, Black and pro-Palestinian classmates and colleagues who represent the full diversity of our country,” the activists’ statement continued.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said on X that threatening Jewish students with violence is antisemitism. “The First Amendment protects the right to protest but students also have a right to learn in an environment free from harassment or violence,” the Democratic governor said.

In a statement, New York Mayor Eric Adams said the city’s police department has an “increased presence of officers” in the area around Columbia’s campus “to protect students and all New Yorkers on nearby public streets.”

The Democratic mayor said he was “horrified and disgusted with the antisemitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus.”

NYT (“Columbia University to Hold Classes Remotely After Weekend Protests“) adds:

Columbia University announced early Monday that it would hold classes remotely after a wave of agitated protests on campus over the weekend that drew widespread attention from city and national officials and raised safety concerns for some Jewish students.

The university’s president, Minouche Shafik, said in a letter to the Columbia community, “We need a reset,” adding that she felt sadness about how the university’s bonds had been severely tested in recent weeks. She urged students who do not live on campus not to travel there.

[…]

In the coming days, a working group of deans, university administrators and faculty members will work to bring the crisis to a resolution, Dr. Shafik said.

“That includes continuing discussions with the student protesters and identifying actions we can take as a community to enable us to peacefully complete the term and return to respectful engagement with each other,” she said.

There are competing claims here, with leaders of the pro-Palestine student protests claiming that the calls for violence against Jews are coming from other pro-Palestine activists unaffiliated with the university. And there are Jewish students who are part of the former.

It’s possible, likely even, that Buechler sees highlighting the dangers here as politically advantageous, as association with antisemitism serves to delegitimize the protests. But it’s clear that a significant number of Columbia’s Jewish student population (which reportedly numbers 5000, roughly 23% of the undergraduate population and 16% of the graduate student body) feel unsafe.

Granted that, almost by definition, student protestors are young and immature, the whole thing is just bizarre. I understand why people who would be outraged at the actions of the Israeli government in Gaza, where noncombatants are dying and suffering at an alarming rate. I even understand why they would be angry at the Biden administration for backing the Israeli war effort. But, surely, Jewish students at Columbia are not responsible for either set of policies.

Calls for divestiture of whatever investments the Columbia endowment has in Israel is, I suppose, a reasonable demand and grounds for protest. But that would be a hell of a lot more sympathetic without antisemitic rhetoric.

UPDATE: There is some skepticism in the comments about the nature of the threats to Jewish students. An article in the Columbia Spectator (“Rabbi advises Jewish students to ‘return home as soon as possible’ following reports of ‘extreme antisemitism’ on and around campus“) provides additional context.

Pro-Israel counterprotesters stood on the Sundial on Saturday evening waving Israeli and U.S. flags and playing Israeli and Jewish music and the U.S. national anthem from a loudspeaker. In front of the Sundial, an individual held a sign reading “Al-Qasam’s Next Targets” with an arrow pointing at the protesters. Al-Qassam is the military wing of Hamas.

Other individuals at the Sundial referred to the Israeli flags as “Nazi flags,” according to another video.

“What’s funny about Hamas killing Jews? What’s funny about it?” Rachel Freilich, CC ’27, one of the students on the Sundial, asked a student who was laughing and taking pictures or recording on his phone, according to another video.

“It had me wondering if someone on my campus not only is just going to glorify and justify Hamas’ terror attacks, call on them to come and kill me next, and then laugh about it, like why should I stay here, at a place that seems to be failing to protect me and calling on terrorists to come into the University and kill me?” Freilich told Spectator.

In another video from Saturday night, individuals at the Sundial shouted at the pro-Israel protesters, “Go back to Europe” and “All you do is colonize.”

[…]

According to a video taken Saturday reviewed by Spectator, a pro-Palestinian protester on campus near the 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue gates tried to burn an Israeli flag, and another individual appeared to throw an object at the head of Jonathan Lederer, CC ’26, who was part of a group of counterprotesters.

“You have blood on your hands,” one person shouted. “You’re a genocidal maniac,” another said.

Lederer said in an interview with Spectator that “there was no Public Safety to be seen while I was absolutely assaulted.”

“Two people threw some heavy-weighted bag at my face, and I felt totally vulnerable in that moment,” Lederer said. “I assumed that at a protest like that there would be Public Safety standing around, NYPD standing around. No one could be seen.”

As the students were exiting campus from the 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue gates on Saturday night, there were calls from individuals outside of campus of “Yehudim [Jews], yehudi [Jew], fuck you,” “Stop killing children,” and “Go back to Poland, go back to Belarus,” according to a video reviewed by Spectator.

David Lederer, SEAS ’26, told Spectator he felt “unsafe.”

“For the last six months, they’ve been chanting, ‘We don’t want no Zionists here.’ Now they’re openly saying, ‘Go back to the gas chambers,’” Lederer said.

He said that when the group left campus, they asked both Public Safety to escort them back to their dorms and the New York Police Department to check on their safety, but that neither did.

On Broadway near the 116th Street subway station, protesters chanted, “We say justice, you say how? Burn Tel Aviv to the ground,” according to a video posted by Students Supporting Israel President Eden Yadegar, GS/JTS ’25, on Instagram on Saturday night.

One Columbia College senior, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing safety concerns, said that while she was walking with a friend while wearing a Star of David necklace on Saturday evening on campus near Earl Hall, someone turned to them and said, “Fuck you.”

The student said she left campus “as soon as I could” because of the experience.

Parker De Dekér, CC ’27, told Spectator that on Wednesday night, when he was walking by Lerner Hall wearing a yarmulke, someone sitting at the tables outside of Lerner shouted, “You keep on testifying, you fucking Jew.” When he exited campus, he removed his yarmulke.

“That was an emotional thing because I never would consider having to take off my religious symbolism as a means of safety,” De Dekér said.

De Dekér continued that as he was helping a friend move his luggage through Lerner Hall on Thursday evening while wearing a yarmulke, one individual said, “We are so happy that you Zionists are finally leaving campus,” and another said, “You wouldn’t have to leave if you weren’t a supporter of genocide.”

On Friday afternoon, De Dekér said that while leaving campus and getting into an Uber, an individual on Amsterdam Avenue shouted an antisemitic slur at him, telling him to “Keep on walking.” De Dekér has since decided to leave campus for the time being and is staying with a friend outside of New York state.

De Dekér said that he does not classify the encampment itself as antisemitism.

“Them sitting there and sharing their rights to free speech and advocating for peace in the Middle East is not antisemitism. I want to make that very clear,” he said. “What is antisemitism, though, is the numerous experiences of which I have had experience.”

[…]

On Thursday afternoon, during a protest of the NYPD encampment sweep at South Lawn, one onlooker outside Butler Library held up a sign that read, “Google ‘Dancing Israelis,’” which refers to a conspiracy theory that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad orchestrated the attacks on the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

“‘Dancing Israelis?’ That’s antisemitic,” someone said, according to a video. “I support Palestine. That’s antisemitic. Get that shit out of here.”

“I speak for myself,” the protester later said. “So fuck yourself. The fact that someone gets offended by something doesn’t make it not true.”

Elisha Baker, CC ’26, said in an interview with Spectator that the poster “falls into a pattern, an age-old pattern of antisemitism being manifested as Jew haters blaming the Jews for the world’s problems.”

As three Jewish students were speaking to the NYPD outside the campus gates at 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue on Thursday night, someone shouted, “Remember the seventh of October,” according to a video reviewed by Spectator. Another added, “Never forget the seventh of October.”

“That will happen not one more time, not five more times, not 10 more times, not 100 more times, not 1,000 more times, but 10,000 times,” someone shouted.

“The seventh of October is about to be every day,” another person shouted.

Protesters then chanted, “Nazi bitches.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. MarkedMan says:

    A tangent, but I think an important one: I read that whole article and at no point does it mention what was actually done or said that makes Jewish students fearful. Is it because they don’t want to repeat the message? But it is the responsibility of a news organization to inform, even about things that are uncomfortable.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve read in the Times or the Post over the past few years that someone “made a racially offensive comment”, followed by people claiming it was heinous and shocking and others saying that the former were just trying to crush legitimate debate, but then had to go elsewhere to find out what was actually said.

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  2. Bill Jempty says:

    There have been arrests today of Yale University Anti-Israel protestors.

    2
  3. Michael Reynolds says:

    I share @MarkedMan: skepticism. In an age when it seems everyone is simply desperate to attract attention, things become over-inflated very quickly, very often deliberately. “I was slightly put off by something someone said,” does not draw clicks the way, “I was verbally assaulted and had to hide in my closet!” does.

    That said, progressives moved seamlessly from “anti-zionist is not anti-semitic,” to denying the existence of rabid anti-semites among their allies. Ignoring anti-semitism is like ignoring an ebola outbreak. It’s dangerous. Dangerously obtuse. It mirrors the Right which cannot bring itself to admit that they do indeed harbor Nazis.

    It is past time for the middles to start pushing back against the extremists on both sides.

    15
  4. Modulo Myself says:

    I would say point-blank that that no one actually feels unsafe on any of these campuses. The protests seems peaceful if agitated. Anti-semitism exists on the fringes of these movements but there are plenty of Jewish kids protesting. Hence the video of a Shabbat service at the Columbia protests. I doubt the few clips I’ve seen of anti-semitic comments are coming from actual students, though maybe I’m wrong. Meanwhile the kids showing up with Israel flags to counter-protest are just deeply outnumbered, which is intimidating but that’s the way of the world. It’s not violence.

    Overall, this is for Facebook grandparents. There’s a prof at Columbia going around filming Muslims praying on a quad and saying it’s time for the National Guard here. That’s the target demographic. No connection to college kids. Complete cluelessness. Brilliant move on Biden’s part though to turn the dial 5% into the Facebook grandparent direction while you are having polling problems with young voters.

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  5. Gustopher says:

    There are antisemites hiding in BDS — there always have been, and I don’t think they amount for much.

    The “anti l-Zionism is antisemitism” crowd have blurred the lines hoping to tar the entire movement, but have just made it harder to distinguish actual antisemitism.

    Rabbi Elie Buechler, a rabbi associated with Columbia University’s Orthodox Union Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, confirmed to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that he sent a WhatsApp message to a group of about 300 mostly Orthodox Jewish students “strongly” recommending they return home and remain there.

    I have no reason to assume Buecler is a good faith actor, and not just trying to gin up more backlash to protesters opposed to Israeli occupation and assault on Palestine. What are the specific incidents that are leading to this?

    If anyone is feeling unsafe, I would have to wonder if they feel unsafe due to the protesters, or the Zionist crowd screaming “be afraid!”

    Do the Jewish protesters in support of Palestine feel unsafe?

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  6. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    That said, progressives moved seamlessly from “anti-zionist is not anti-semitic,” to denying the existence o f rabid anti-semites among their allies. […] It mirrors the Right which cannot bring itself to admit that they do indeed harbor Nazis.

    It must be quite the dilemma for Nazis — do they support the party that supports Israel more, or the one that doesn’t hate Black folks?

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  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    The “anti l-Zionism is antisemitism” crowd have blurred the lines hoping to tar the entire movement, but have just made it harder to distinguish actual antisemitism.

    Bullshit. The BDS movement refused to acknowledge that there were anti-semites. They stuck their heads in the sand – like you’re doing right now – and gave cover to bad actors. You have a blind spot. Cries of ‘genocide’ which I seem to recall you endorsed, are anti-semitic. ‘From the river to the sea,’ is an anti-semitic, genocidal rallying cry.

    If Black students were saying they felt unsafe because of demonstrations on campus, you would apply a very different standard. Ditto trans people, ditto women, ditto Muslims.

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  8. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “It is past time for the middles to start pushing back against the extremists on both sides.”

    The pro-Palestinian students seem to be doing exactly that, if their statement is sincere. (I have no way of judging this.)

    The absolute worst actor in this entire affair, though, has to be Elise Stefanik. The Columbia president prostrated herself before the right-wingers in Congress, whored herself out so that there wouldn’t be a speck of daylight between her and them, even if it meant selling out her student body — and still Stefanik is trying to plant her MAGA flag in the president’s corpse.

    At least the various people protesting actually believe in something…

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  9. JKB says:

    Did SNL nail it a decade a go or what?

    “You send your kids off to college. They love you. You walk away with a Cornell mom T-shirt. You are walking away going this is great, and come Thanksgiving, your kid tells you that you are an imperialist and a racist and a homophobe. That is not worth $120,000.”
    Andrew Breitbart

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  10. JKB says:

    @wr: At least the various people protesting actually believe in something…

    Really, most can’t name the river and many can’t name the sea. Nor have they stopped and thought about what “From the river to the sea” means with regards to the future of Jews in that area.

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  11. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:

    if their statement is sincere.

    I don’t doubt the sincerity of the majority of protestors. College kids are nothing if not sincere. And I am not overly agitated by their ignorance of history or inability to see shades of gray – again, they’re kids. The problem these sincere kids have is that they have anti-semites in their backpacks and won’t admit it.

    The Columbia president is yet another person who prioritizes job security over everything. Stefanik is a piece of shit.

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  12. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Cries of ‘genocide’ which I seem to recall you endorsed, are anti-semitic.

    Oh fuck that.

    It certainly looks like Israel is committing genocide, by creating conditions to eliminate in part or in white, the Gaza population. The intent requirement is harder to document, but there are lots of minor members of the Israeli government that have stated it openly.

    This is not a crank view or antisemitism.

    The Israeli government is not approaching The Holocaust(TM), but the definition of genocide, defined by the UN is a lot lower. The Holocaust was genocide done with German efficiency.

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  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    I’d have been disappointed had my kids not questioned my beliefs. It’s their job to question whether Dad knows everything, is right about everything. I’ve learned from my eldest’s pushback. That’s how things are meant to work, I teach, they question, we debate, in the end we reach synthesis, both of us having crept a little closer to the capital T truth. Then we have cocktails and watch Taskmaster.

    8
  14. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If Black students were saying they felt unsafe because of demonstrations on campus, you would apply a very different standard. Ditto trans people, ditto women, ditto Muslims

    We have yet to hear from any Jewish students that they feel unsafe. We have heard from elderly rabbis and Republican legislators that Jewish students feel unsafe.

    Do the Jewish students taking part in the protests feel unsafe?

    Also, fuck their feelings. Are there incidents that justify fear, or are they simply being told to be afraid? If there are assaults, the perpetrators should be prosecuted. If there are students upset their delicate feelings have been rumpled, they can fuck off.

    Finally, I’m pretty sure the Gazan population feels unsafe.

    ETA: my plane is nearly done boarding. Enjoy your pompous bleating in favor of an apartheid state that is committing acts that are awfully close to the UN definition of genocide.

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  15. gVOR10 says:

    I’m old. I went to college and came of age politically during Vietnam. What I’m seeing today is amateurs, snowflakes, and a sensationalist press.

    9
  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    It certainly looks like Israel is committing genocide

    No, it does not. It looks like war and many on the Israeli side endorse ethnic cleansing. Neither is genocide. The ‘G’ word is used inappropriately in an effort to diminish the historical reality of the Holocaust. We are six months in, and the Palestinian death toll is about 33,000. Out of 2 million. That is war, it is brutal and awful, but it is not genocide.

    Here’s a clue: the Warsaw ghetto was genocide. The Nazis were not allowing thousands of trucks worth of food and medicine into the Warsaw ghetto. You see the difference there?

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  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Exactly. I suspect one way that news media seek to play both sides is by being vague enough that both sides can keep their assumptions. One side reads the article and comes away saying, “Those dirty anti-Semitic bastards are at it again!” and the other says, “Oh, it’s probably just those pampered kids getting all upset about ‘micro-agressions’. Play them the worlds smallest violin!”

    But as you point out, the real danger is that ugly and potentially violent anti-Semitism gets lumped in with trivial nonsense and therefore doesn’t get the serious response it requires.

    3
  18. Jay L Gischer says:

    @JKB: Thing is, if being a “racist” means having one thing I’ve done, or one thought, then I am a racist. So is my kid, so is every white person in America. (I suspect similar things might be true of black people, etc. but I let them speak for themselves.)

    And that’s what I said back to them. “Yeah, and we try to do better”.

    You see, I’ve been through this with my kids. We still love each other, and we try to do better.

    2
  19. Chip Daniels says:

    I think focusing on “safety” is not quite correct.

    Comparing the Palestinian protesters to the Charlottesville marchers, “From The River To The Sea” compares to “The Jews Will Not Replace Us” in the obvious implication of genocide and oppression.

    There may not be an immediate threat, but I think that advocating for ethnic cleansing is not protected speech.

    9
  20. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Jay L Gischer: This seems like a good moment to share a talk by Jay Smooth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbdxeFcQtaU

    We have to move away from the tonsils paradigm (of racial discourse) and embrace the tooth plaque paradigm

  21. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You have a blind spot.

    lol.

    8
  22. Andy says:

    @Gustopher:

    Yeah, you’re the guy that wanted to kick a student out of college for failing to bend the knee to the DEI police over a supposedly offensive party invitation, but when it comes to yelling, “Go home to Poland,” or “October 7th is going to be every day for you” then your attitude is fuck their feelings. It’s hard for me to imagine a standard that allows one but not the other that isn’t discriminatory, but perhaps you can explain how you’re ok with one but not the other.

    You’re also the guy who has, on many occasions, advocated for moving Israel and the Jews to the Dakotas like a Jewish reservation. I always thought you were joking, but your comments in the past few months, and especially here, have me second-guessing that.

    Chait has a good article on this today:

    Jewish students have been forced to endure an atmosphere of eliminationist rhetoric that is consistently unable to modulate or confine its Manichean demands. The pro-Palestinian groups have chosen to embrace violent fundamentalist death cults as their allies. They have chosen to spurn compromise and coexistence. The gaping void of a humane, universalist, liberal movement to advocate for the cause of Palestinian freedom is their failure, and its fruit is the rancid antisemitism that, despite their feeble denials, has sprung up everywhere since October 7.

    Contrast this to what University administrations have done when it comes to other groups, aggressively policing trivial “microaggressions” via DEI functions among other methods. But here, with Jews, the standards are different; “free speech” mysteriously becomes more important than DEI-enforced safety against behavior that goes far beyond microaggressions. It’s definitionally at least systemic discrimination, and there have already been Title VI lawsuits filed at some schools for the clear and incontrovertible failure to enforce standards evenly and fairly – regardless of what those standards are, and there are likely to be more to come.

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  23. MarkedMan says:

    Re: The Update in the main post. What on earth possessed the editor of the Columbia spectator to order the anti-Israel and sometimes anti-Semitic comments in the order they did? It starts out with an ugly sign held at a pro-Palestinian protest pointing to counter protesters which read “[Hamas] Next Targets”. Ugly, stupid, and if not outright anti-semitic, at least objectifying and dehumanizing the pro-Israeli side. But still… “it makes me feel unsafe and the police should be called”? They are, after all, at a protest with emotions running hot on all sides.

    Next come comes an especially lame accusation. A woman felt threatened because someone laughed at their counter protest. She then says she doesn’t feel safe at Colombia”… a place that seems to be failing to protect me and calling on terrorists to come into the University and kill me?” Colombia is calling on terrorists to kill her?

    So at this point I assume that since this is what they lead with, the rest is even more nonsense, but then go on to read of one of the protesters throwing something at one of the counter protesters. That’s more serious. And then this from a Jewish student, “Now they’re openly saying, ‘Go back to the gas chambers,’” It doesn’t appear the paper made any attempt to corroborate, but if true, that is textbook anti-Semitism. And, away from any protest, a pair of students had a stranger turn around and say “Fuck you” presumably because she wore a visible Star of David. No “heat of the moment there”, she was just walking across the quad. Another:

    when he was walking by Lerner Hall wearing a yarmulke, someone sitting at the tables outside of Lerner shouted, “You keep on testifying, you fucking Jew.” When he exited campus, he removed his yarmulke.

    “That was an emotional thing because I never would consider having to take off my religious symbolism as a means of safety,” De Dekér said

    One more:

    As three Jewish students were speaking to the NYPD outside the campus gates at 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue on Thursday night, someone shouted, “Remember the seventh of October,” according to a video reviewed by Spectator. Another added, “Never forget the seventh of October.”

    “That will happen not one more time, not five more times, not 10 more times, not 100 more times, not 1,000 more times, but 10,000 times,” someone shouted.

    “The seventh of October is about to be every day,” another person shouted.

    Protesters then chanted, “Nazi bitches.”

    Why did the paper lead with the lame ones and put the serious ones deep into the article?

    6
  24. wr says:

    @JKB: “Really, most can’t name the river and many can’t name the sea. ”

    I’d have an easier time taking this from you if everything you ever posted didn’t go to demonstrate that you’ve never met an actual human being.

    8
  25. wr says:

    @Andy: “Contrast this to what University administrations have done when it comes to other groups, aggressively policing trivial “microaggressions” via DEI functions among other methods. But here, with Jews, the standards are different;”

    That’s odd, because the president of Columbia ordered that pro-Palestinian protestors be suspended and that they be barred from their dorm rooms immediately. I haven’t heard of that being done to anyone for “failing to bend the knee to the DEI police.”

    Haven’t heard a word about free speech from you when it’s people whose opinions you oppose being punished for speaking. But you keep going on about the victims of cancel culture. It just keeps getting more persuasive.

    8
  26. Assad K says:

    On the one hand…
    We have overwhelming bipartisan political support of Israel
    We have representatives of one major political party openly advocating leveling of Gaza, throwing pro Palestinian protestors off bridges etc
    Many many of the very very rich and powerful loudly backing Israel
    Vans traveling through cities showing pictures of protestors all labeled as anti-Semites
    No shortage of TV/print/online commentators also advocating leveling Gaza
    Banning of pro-Palestinian student groups
    Banning of the Palestinian flag (OK, that’s Europe)
    The decision to stop the USC valedictorian from speaking
    And now of course actual police cracking down on student protests.
    (I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff)

    On the other hand, we have mainly peaceful if loud protests.. and no doubt there are individuals there who are bigots/antisemitic and have yelled loathsome things. But now that more information has come out, you hardly ever find anyone actually praising Oct 7 (I maintain that the initial more widespread support of that actual day was likely due general disbelief that so many atrocities had been committed). And i also find it hard to credit that campus administration was overlooking actual assaults on Jewish students – I’ll file that alongwith how apparently liberals don’t want African americans to be prosecuted for crimes.

    But given the disparity of responses and actions, and where the power lies, are we saying that Arab/Muslim people should NOT be feeling insecure?

    8
  27. JKB says:

    There’s the news and then there are these reports on ‘Columbia Chat’ about parents extracting their children from the campus

    1
  28. Andy says:

    @wr:

    Haven’t heard a word about free speech from you when it’s people whose opinions you oppose being punished for speaking. But you keep going on about the victims of cancel culture. It just keeps getting more persuasive.

    That’s because your head is so far up your ass constantly trying to “get” me for hypocrisy in your “responses” to me that you never really listen.

    I’m a free-speech guy, full stop. I always have been. If you’ve missed that, it’s because you haven’t paid attention. So let me spell it out for you in small words so you understand: I have zero issues with protests or people voicing opinions with which I disagree. That includes people and groups like SJP and WOL advocating for the elimination of Israel by any means necessary.

    What I want is consistent treatment and consistent standards, and that is not what is happening.

    There hasn’t been a post about it, but I’ll give you a specific example – the USC cancellation of the Valedictorian speech. I’m 100% against it. It was a wrong decision on multiple levels. Satisfied?

    6
  29. Matt Bernius says:

    Let’s take some deep breaths here. This is a really big issue with a LOT of gray areas for everyone. And as I think most folks have said, there are no easy answers–especially at our level (i.e. everyday people who cannot have a direct individual impact on the conversation).

    Let’s try to take a step back from making assumptions about anyone’s motivations and positions on all topics. Remember that we (the authors) tend to post on a limited range of topics, so there are not always opportunities to let each other voice our opinions on everything (unless, of course, it comes up in the daily thread).

    BTW, this isn’t directed specifically at anyone. Seriously. It’s more a “the internet is a challenging place to communicate on at the best of times and this is a tough topic. So lets all give each other grace–even when we’re strumming each other’s last nerves” reminder.

    Personally, I have been avoiding commenting on this topic in most cases because my thoughts on this are so messy that I don’t think they will make sense to anyone (they rarely make sense to me).

    I think Assad has captured some of my thoughts on the proportionality of the response. I also think there has been a lot of “nut picking” going on and a lot of folks who are using this to grind axes they have had that have nothing to do with the awful topic at hand.

    13
  30. Kurtz says:

    @Andy:

    My reaction to the Chait piece:

    There is a reason Fanon is controversial.

    WRT to @Gustopher’s reservation comments:

    I can’t speak for them. But I can say that they are probably joking. But it is important to recognize it as a particularly jabby one. Or: a jab first, joke second. In my view, there are salient parallels between the US treatment of Indigenous peoples and Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

    Take that as you like.

    Regardless of whether I agree with the charge, as an exercise, let’s stipulate that @Gustopher is indeed displaying some hypocrisy. Call it out. I understand why you would. But in that case, one must also criticize the clear hypocrisy of @Michael Reynolds.

    More broadly, how many of the people arguing that it is Columbia’s job to provide a safe environment for Jews have also supported the dismantling of DEI, not because it does not achieve its goals, but because it is discriminatory toward white people? Based on what I have seen, almost every public figure who currently identifies as a Republican and has offered an opinion on both.

    Full circle:

    The Chait article is difficult to assess for me. I think it is better than most of the pieces I have read on the subject. But it also reflects why I have been mostly reluctant to engage on this topic. Any justification of opinion requires so much context that long form fora begin swimming in Twitter territory.

    For example, look at the reference to “we don’t want no Zionists here!” The link provided is a Twitter post that engages in that “blurring of the line” referenced by @Gustopher.

    As another example, allow me to highlight the story recounted in this report from the New York Post:

    Avi Lichtschein, 37, of Manhattan was walking his dog when the group surrounded him and shouted, “We don’t want no Zionists here!”

    He looked toward the NYPD for help after being sprayed with what he said was ketchup, but remained on the street for another minute to talk with the protesters until they finally chased him away.

    “I’m a proud Zionist,” Lichtschein told The Post. “I’m very surprised that this kind of hatred exists in any capacity in 2024.”

    It’s difficult for me to understand that there are two sides when on one side it’s gentle and peace. We don’t have these kind of rallies,” he continued.

    “I thought college kids are supposed to be going to keggers and having fun. This hate shouldn’t exist in any capacity.”

    I have questions about the events described. Without listing them here, it is not difficult to point out that there is a contradiction implicit to the moral claims made by the “proud Zionist.” He says he is against the existence of “hatred in any capacity,” but I wonder if he extends that to the hatred for Palestinians that permeates the contemporary Zionist movement. The cognitive tension is often resolved by de-humanization.

    It takes much less intellectual writhing to find that @Gustopher’s views are not anti-semitic than it does to connect the dog-walker to bigotry. As always, I could be wrong on both counts. And I would admit my mistake if it can be demonstrated.

    ETA: Andy, I want to make clear “intellectual writhing” is not directed at you. I have yet to read anything you have written that would imply it.

    4
  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kurtz:

    But in that case, one must also criticize the clear hypocrisy of @Michael Reynolds.

    If it’s clear, why don’t you lay it out rather than pulling yet another drive-by. Because I suspect you’re lumping me in as anti-DEI, which is bullshit. I’ll remind you I was putting DEI into practice before you ever heard the term. And if your bitch is that I have correctly pointed out that vapid calls for ceasefires are no solution to anything, too bad reality pisses you off.

    6
  32. Kurtz says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    I also think there has been a lot of “nut picking”

    How did you get that video of me?

  33. Assad K says:

    @Kurtz:
    “on one side it’s gentle and peace”
    Cue googly eyes emoji..

    1
  34. SenyorDave says:

    @Matt Bernius: I agree with this sentiment. We should find out exactly what happened based on evidence. Because in the heat of the moment things are said that are knee-jerk reactions, and we certainly wouldn’t want that. After all, in the immediate aftermath of 10/7 there were otherwise sane commenters who openly advocated for genocide. After reflection they took it back, but of course they are still on record as being for genocide. I’m trying to remember the blog I saw that on, anyone know off the top of their head?

    2
  35. Michael Reynolds says:

    @SenyorDave:
    I’ve been following this debate pretty closely, so I’d appreciate if you could point to a single case of anyone here calling for genocide. I think I’d have noticed that.

    1
  36. Matt Bernius says:

    @Kurtz:

    There is a reason Fanon is controversial.

    There are few reasons, in fact. Fanon is brilliant, frustrating, and always causes me to try and reconcile how I think about things. And I always feel inadequate to answer when I’m faced with the harsh logic of his arguments.

    @Kurtz:

    How did you get that video of me?

    “Nut picking” is a recent addition to my vocabulary. I think it’s a great example of taking people’s most extreme comments and then zooming in on them (something I admit I do from time to time).

    1
  37. steve says:

    Since 10/7 we have been hearing about anti-semitism. When I have asked for specific examples it has always, as in 100% of the time, consisted of stuff supporting Palestinians, calling for a ceasefire and more recently divesting from Israel. This is the first time i have seen or heard of anything that could truly count as anti-semitic. My sense after reading all of this is that there really are some anti-semites but not very many and it’s still not clear how many are students vs outside agitators. (There certainly seem to be a lot of Jewish students on the pro-Palestinian side disputing a lot fo the claims.) It’s not surprising that there are some as schools have admitted Muslim students and some of them clearly hate Israel and Jews. Nonetheless, even if few it’s all clear that some of these people are associated with the left. People on the left should be pretty clear on condemning these people.

    Andy, and others, have claimed that this would be treated differently if people were saying similar about black or trans people. While I think there has been too much over reaction on DEI issues it looks to me like the response has been pretty strong against what has mostly been speech people didnt like since 10/7. Multiple congressional hearings, people losing jobs, hundreds of students arrested. Certainly nothing like that has been happening in the last 20 years around trans or black issues. While the woke police have been too active on campus the actual number of events is not nearly as large as people think since each individual event gets covered over and over and over.

    In context, over 22% of Columbia undergrad students are Jewish. The economics always win. Expect the Columbia president to get fired and more crackdowns on stuff that might be anti-semitism.

    Steve

    4
  38. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I did already in the Elizabeth Warren thread last week. You responded to it. My initial impression that you missed the point of my post is now beyond question.

    I do not drive-by and you know it. No need to engage in dishonesty, Michael. Though, I will admit that I didn’t offer a response on that thread because I did not see you responded until late the next day.

    But here, let me save you the trouble. Here are the posts in question:

    Kurtz says:
    Tuesday, 9 April 2024 at 19:52
    @Michael Reynolds:

    What’s the rest of the chant, Michael? You never complete it when you make the reference. Maybe it’s you who doesn’t know what the fuck it means. Or is your concern that if you quote the full chant, it would undermine your position?

    It’s okay, trooper. We all struggle to avoid tendencies every now and then. We are allowed a little hypocrisy every now and then.

    It’s okay, bud. The rest of us around here will ignore the flea bites covering your body when the topic changes to something less contentious. Just scratch that itch, we will pretend we did not notice. In the future no one will remember you as a Good German; it seems likely the solution to Palestine will be final.

    Too much? Did I cross the line? Maybe. But perhaps you should apply “never again” to someone outside of your own identity rather than expect others to ignore the parallels. Oh, pardon me, I mistyped that, ‘never again’.

    Michael Reynolds says:
    Thursday, 11 April 2024 at 00:12
    @Kurtz:
    This is exactly what I’m talking about.

    You’re not stupid, but you are ignorant. You’ve just made my point that most of Israel’s critics are just flatly ignorant. If you think Hamas or the PA are even remotely interested in a ‘free’ Palestine, you just don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. There is only one democracy in the middle east and it is Israel. Every other country in the region is an authoritarian or absolute monarchical state. The nearest facsimile of a democratic state is Cyprus or Turkey. The only Arab’s in the ME ever to cast a free vote, are Israeli Arabs.

    There is literally zero chance of a PA/Hamas Palestine being anything but a human rights horror show, a horror show you want to buy with the lives of Israeli Jews. Seriously, learn before opining, because you are living in a fantasy.

    Believe it or not, there are scholars of Middle Eastern history and politics, some of whom are Jewish, who disagree with your position. Are you going to claim that they are ignorant as well? Or lean on a passive-aggressive, “you’re not stupid” to attempt a defense of your position?

    Contrary to what your words and manner suggest, two people of equal knowlege and intelligence can and often do come to different conclusions based on the same set of facts.

    See, that’s the thing, Michael. I pointed out your hypocrisy on this subject (e.g., identity politics, manichean paradigm). You responded with ad homs and an appeal to your ego supposed authority. You added the accusation that I “want” a “horror show.”

    For the record, the horror show is already playing out. Of course, it appears you will only acknowledge its existence when it happens to Jewish people, otherwise it is just war. Newsflash, Michael, de-humanization as rhetorical tactic is a commonality among instances of ethnic cleansing and/or genocide throughout history.

    Do I need to explicitly point out that if this is what war looks like, then Hamas is also justified in its actions? If the war is a result of existential threats, does that not justify the goals of Hamas?

    One of us acknowledges the complex, difficult nature of this particular topic. The other person is you.

    I would be more understanding of your tone and substance if you showed a shred of charity to those who disagree with you and recognized the tension between what you say on this subject and your history on other topics. I do that with a lot of people’s positions. But you do not, so I cannot extend that courtesy to you.

    I know from many experiences that it sucks to have someone throw your own words back at you as a demonstration that you do not meet the standard you set for others.

    It feels bad, man.

    But if you have a shred of respect for others, a modicum of personal and intellectual integrity, you would at least acknowledge that I am making valid points about your position. Hell, you don’t even have to change a single position of yours–I could live with that. Embrace the tension. Justify it if you must. But rationalized denial is pathetic and beneath you.

    Do the respectable thing, dude. Eat the crow. The aftertaste does not last that long.

    7
  39. Kurtz says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Yeah, Fanon is tough. But his work is necessary.

    Well, now I know about nut-picking.

    OT: When I read your, “to own what now?” line on the confederacy thread yesterday, rather than thinking of every Southerner I know, I read it in the voice of Jack White as Elvis in Walk Hard. Thanks for a moment of joy.

    2
  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kurtz:
    So, the TL:DR is no, you can’t point to hypocrisy. You can point to a different POV. Let alone glaring hypocrisy.

    The idea that the PA, still less Hamas is interested in democracy remains utterly and completely ludicrous. Hamas specifically rejects the very idea. The PA has had exactly one election. Ever. And zero countries in the region are democracies.

    Now, if I were a sensitive Jew as opposed to a Jew only in the presence of Nazis, I might pick on that ‘identity politics’ as an implication that I must be thinking with my circumcision. You know, this may surprise you, but there are non-Jews who agree with me. But I’m sure I’m wrong, you wouldn’t go there.

    2
  41. Kurtz says:

    @steve:

    There are definitely examples of what would generally be considered anti-semitic speech. Gas chamber rhetoric is pretty tough to justify.

    But using those instances to paint all support for Palestinians as a call for genocide is gross. I expect it from bad-faith actors in the contemporary American right-wing. But when it comes from people who otherwise express opposition to oppression, I find it hard to stomach. Especially if they won’t acknowledge the tension (see my other post on this topic.)

    4
  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kurtz:

    I would be more understanding of your tone and substance if you showed a shred of charity to those who disagree with you and recognized the tension between what you say on this subject and your history on other topics.

    Right. So we’re another heretic hunt.

    2
  43. Matt Bernius says:

    @Kurtz:

    OT: When I read your, “to own what now?” line on the confederacy thread yesterday, rather than thinking of every Southerner I know, I read it in the voice of Jack White as Elvis in Walk Hard. Thanks for a moment of joy.

    I’m so glad that landed. It made me laugh when I wrote it (and yes, it works in that context).

    1
  44. Andy says:

    I just want to make my position clear:

    First, I agree with FIRE entirely.

    Secondly, as the regulars here should know, a big theme of mine is that I’m all about having objective standards and applying them evenly. My problem with many elite universities is that they have not done that. Similarly, I have no problem with DEI as a concept as long as it is applied fairly and equally. If your campus DEI function is going to police students and staff for dubious claims of “safety” based on various minor incidents we’ve all heard and read about over the last decade, then it really ought to be all hands on deck when there are the kinds of things we’ve seen since last October. Instead, Universities have suddenly discovered free speech principles they didn’t much follow before. I see that as a problem. Many Jewish students whom DEI offices turned away seem to agree and have sued, and I guess we’ll find out what happens if these cases make it to court.

    Personally, I would prefer universities to be the free speech bastions they now claim to be and to consistently be so, but clearly, they are not.

    But now that they are or claim to be, even if temporarily, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If it’s acceptable to have a protest on campus that includes the messages of these pro-Palestinian groups (more on that below), you don’t get to complain when some other group comes and has a protest with similar elements that target a different group. Free speech is free speech. It’s not free speech for me, but not for thee.

    Third is the general question of what is acceptable discourse. And I think there is a lot of hypocrisy here when it comes to Jews and Israel. Even if Gustopher (and he’s not alone) is joking about getting rid of Israel and putting Jews on a reservation in the Dakotas, there’s basically no other ethnic or religious group where making this kind of “joke” would be considered funny or acceptable. I mean, why don’t we send all the Palestinians to the Dakotas? Haha, funny right?

    You also have the issue of many pro-Palestinian groups and individuals openly supporting ethnic cleansing of Jews and worse, celebrating atrocities, and promoting Hamas. From a free speech perspective, that’s America, people are allowed to have shitty ideas, but if you want to tie your flag to that, don’t pretend you’re on the moral high ground.

    6
  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kurtz:

    For the record, the horror show is already playing out. Of course, it appears you will only acknowledge its existence when it happens to Jewish people, otherwise it is just war.

    Yep. That’s it all right.

    6
  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Andy:

    I mean, why don’t we send all the Palestinians to the Dakotas?

    We don’t need to send the Palestinians to a reservation; they’re already on one. And they get less protection from the Israeli government than the indigenous people on reservations in the US get as well.

    But you’re right. That’s not funny. And it’s not justice either.

    8
  47. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I did. And I am not the only one to point out the tension. I even gave you outs to make your position more understandable.

    It’s not the fault of others that you are the proverbial horse..maybe you should read for comprehension.

    There is nothing wrong with admitting that it is difficult to acknowledge a flaw. But refusing to even consider it? Well, that is suggestive of an absence of integrity.

    The former is understandable and forgivable. The latter, especially given your tendency to be an utter asshole, is not.

    I must admit your reaction disappoints me. Your life story is compelling. You found success in a hyper-competitive field. Your work brought comfort to kids going through real struggles. You have many admirable qualities.

    But you do not have the humility required of an intellectual. You do not have the intellectual integrity to admit mistakes–rhetorical or substantive.

    When I first started posting here, I assessed one of your posts as bearing similarities to the argumentation and rhetorical style of a Republican. You responded by highlighting donations to Democrats. Not only was that non-responsive to my criticism, but, in retrospect, it was quite revealing.

    Why does arrogance infect everything you write? Why, when faced with legitimate criticism, do you remind people of your fan mail or your trans daughter? Why did you respond to a rhetorical poke with virtue signaling?

    All signs point to a fragile ego. Maybe I am wrong. (When is the last time you said that and meant it, Michael?) But it appears to be transparent overcompensation. I mean, you cannot bring yourself to faceegitimate criticism rather than finding refuge in willful misinterpretation or straight up denial.

    Pathetic.

    12
  48. Andy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    And they get less protection from the Israeli government than the indigenous people on reservations in the US get as well.

    So little protection they have their own military force, tens of thousands of rockets, were able to invade Israel and kill 1000+ people, etc.

    Your analogy is strained at best and buys into the whole “colonizer” narrative when the reality is that it’s been the Arab and Palestinian armies that have tried time and again since 1947 to destroy Israel and keep losing. And here is another stupid war started by Hamas (the government of the “reservation” of Gaza), which is, of course, entirely Israel’s fault.

    I really don’t get what the strategy is. It’s like the underpants gnomes. Keep attacking Israel and starting unwinnable wars, repeat “from the river to the sea,” and magically, one day, all the Jews will appear in the Dakotas? Insanity.

    6
  49. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Re: heretic hunt.

    Uh, no. Pointing out a hypocritical position is hardly whipping the purity pony. It has no bearing on any of your other policy preferences. Nor does it mean that you’re not a true Dem or Lefty or whatever. The question isn’t the hypocrisy; it is how one responds to it.

    But you did type this:

    That said, progressives moved seamlessly from “anti-zionist is not anti-semitic,” to denying the existence of rabid anti-semites among their allies. Ignoring anti-semitism is like ignoring an ebola outbreak. It’s dangerous. Dangerously obtuse. It mirrors the Right which cannot bring itself to admit that they do indeed harbor Nazis.

    You’re the one that is always going on and on about the need to attain and wield political power. Guess what? Sometimes that means courting some pretty fucking awful people. That is inherent to practical politics. But you are actively defending the ultra-Right Wing government of Israel. That is wholly different.

    And yet, I am not calling for supporters of Israel to be removed from Congress. I leave that to those who attack members of the Squad. And that has happened. To your credit, I haven’t noticed you making that argument.

    Look dude, yes, Jews have been consistently oppressed, marginalized, de-humanized throughout history. Anti-semitism is still a real thing. But that does not justify the Israel government’s actions in Palestine.

    On the other hand, I will not deny that anti-semitism exists among some factions of the Left. Some socialists are racist. Others find common cause with right wingers who deny that racism still exists. It’s frustrating, but true.

    And by the way, the notion that support for Israel is somehow an heretical position in Democratic circles or broader American politics is laughable. Every discussion here is evidence of that.

    P.S. I feel bad calling you fragile. I feel bad about the personal judgments that I typed a just few minutes ago. I apologize for that. It was inappropriate.

    But at the same time, your response in the other thread certainly implies that I support the destruction of Israel. Indeed, you accused me of “wanting” it. That I cannot abide.

    Shit, dude. You called me, and by implication, some of the other regulars ignorant. I mean, come on.

    Anyway none of that justifies returning the favor, but I have resisted accusing you of supporting genocide for a reason. Though of the two of us, your position and rhetoric is much closer to that playbook. Do I think you are an out and out bigot? No, I don’t. Do I think you support genocide? I don’t think so, no.

    But there are lines and you are much closer to them than I.

    7
  50. DK says:

    @wr:

    I haven’t heard of that being done to anyone for “failing to bend the knee to the DEI police.”

    Find dudes unironically complaining about DEI this and DEI that in Spring 2024, it’s the same sheep who were whining about “wokeness” in 2023 and crying about “CRT” in 2022. All words/acronynyms they never used until told to by Joe Rogan and the other bigoted propagandists they take marching orders from.

    I wonder what’s the next thinly-veiled stand-in for “n***rs and f***s” to be chosen as 2025’s boogeyman du jour.

    For the record, “DEI” has never kept we who are black and/or queer “safe” (whatever that means) from hate speech, homophobia, or anti-blackness on campus or in classrooms — or anywhere else in the same Amerikkka sent Trump’s white supremacy into the White House once and may do so again.

    Chag Sameach and Gut Pesach to all. Off to my bestie’s Seder.

    5
  51. Kurtz says:

    @Andy:

    the government of the “reservation” of Gaza

    Nominally. But that picture is much more complicated than you are portraying here.

    1
  52. SenyorDave says:

    @Michael Reynolds: From a post dated Oct 23, at 5:44 PM:
    To me, there is NO two sides to this issue. I stand with Israel completely. If they want to wipe out Gaza and the West Bank, I’ll support it. I’ve been following this shit since the Munich Olympics, and I’m tired of innocent Israelis being killed, then Israel being told how they can or cannot respond to the murder of their civilians.
    I would say that supporting wiping out Gaza and the West Bank meets any reasonable person’s definition of supporting genocide.

    8
  53. DK says:

    @Andy:

    What I want is consistent treatment and consistent standards, and that is not what is happening.

    There hasn’t been a post about it, but I’ll give you a specific example – the USC cancellation of the Valedictorian speech. I’m 100% against it. It was a wrong decision on multiple levels.

    Then it seems school administrators are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If school officials shut down a pro-Palestinian speaker to make Jewish students feel “safe,” then that’s wrong.

    But if school officials allow student pro-Palestinian protesters — who include Jewish students — then said officials are antisemites inconsistently applying their dastardly DEI standards.

    Per usual, it’s easy to stand on the sidelines yelling platitudes at those in the arena about what they aren’t doing right. Per usual, what’s missing from the angry, keyboard critics screeds are workable, specific alternative actions that satisfy their conveniently simple consistent safety + consistent free speech standards.

    What is “feeling safe” from speech on a college campus? What exactly and specifically was said and done that’s “unsafe?” What specific behaviors constitute consistently applying standards?

    Black students and their guardians would love to know, given the presence of student groups that invite openly anti-black racists like Ben Shapiro and Charlie Kirk. This, despite the consistent DEI police protection black students are gifted, according to some white guy somewhere.

    8
  54. DrDaveT says:

    @Andy:

    So little protection they have their own military force, tens of thousands of rockets, were able to invade Israel and kill 1000+ people, etc.

    I’m pretty sure that their Israeli government did not provide those.

    And here is another stupid war started by Hamas (the government of the “reservation” of Gaza), which is, of course, entirely Israel’s fault.

    You forgot the scare quotes on “government”.

    If you are not aware of the role of the Israeli government in establishing and maintaining Hamas as the “government” of Palestine, you need to do some research.

    Serious question: how much culpability do current Palestinian children have for the actions of past Arab and Palestinians intent on the destruction of Israel?

    8
  55. Andy says:

    @Kurtz:

    Nominally. But that picture is much more complicated than you are portraying here.

    Obviously, but note that I’m not the one trying to compare the condition of Palestinians to Native American reservations.

    @DK:

    I think this best sums up my view.

    So I’d say, pick your poison. If you want black students to be able to demand to be protected from whatever threat the presence of Ben Shapiro on campus represents, then you have to grant the same privilege to other groups. There’s no carve out where black students get that protection while Jewish students have to deal with “Go back to Poland.” They either both get it or they both don’t get it, along with every other group out there. Universities have been trying to have it both ways, swinging the pendulum back and forth overcompensating in dealing with the dissonance, and now the chickens have come home to roost.

    My preference is for a return to institutional neutrality, free speech principles, and clear, fair rules of conduct that are consistently enforced. This is not only consistent with the law and the Constitution but also with long-standing American principles. That means that students will occasionally deal with the discomfort of exposure to ideas they don’t like or having to bear the thought of people they hate or oppose visiting the campus for a day or two. Well, that’s part of what the university experience is for, growing the fuck up.

    4
  56. Andy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    If you are not aware of the role of the Israeli government in establishing and maintaining Hamas as the “government” of Palestine, you need to do some research.

    Wow, so Hamas is just a creation of Israel? Where should I do this research, Infowars?

    Serious question: how much culpability do current Palestinian children have for the actions of past Arab and Palestinians intent on the destruction of Israel?

    None, I don’t believe in generational sin. This is part of why I think Hamas is so bad – they see children as martyrs for their foolish and doomed effort to destroy Israel.

    4
  57. Ken_L says:

    The thread seems to have degenerated into a typical argument between the usual suspects, but I’ll endorse the suggestions made earlier that Republicans and AIPAC supporters are doing everything they can to (a) exaggerate the seriousness of the threats to Jewish students, (b) link the protesters to “the left” and the Democratic Party, and (c) nourish the Islamophobia on which Trump Republicans thrive.

    This post on X illustrates not only the determination of some supporters of Israel to provoke hostile reactions from protesters, but the the failure of the protesters to rise to the bait. https://twitter.com/BordwellNole/status/1782461468073419260

    13
  58. DK says:

    @Andy:

    If you want black students to be able to demand to be protected from whatever threat the presence of Ben Shapiro on campus represents, then you have to grant the same privilege to other groups.

    Or, since we already require black students to bend to the free speech rights of racists, then you have to require the same of other groups.

    The ones demanding special privileges they who claim universities aren’t keeping Jewish students safe from pro-Palestinian protests that include Jewish students — notably, without specifics on what exactly is unsafe, and what specifically needs to be done by schools that they are not doing.

    Black have never had such privilege re: racist microaggresions. Black pastors don’t tell black students to go home when rightwing student groups invite Charlie Kirk to talk about why the Civil Rights Act should be repealed. Black CEOs aren’t threatening to oust university presidents who take donations from supporters of Trump, a birther who tweeted a White Power video.

    There was no “DEI police” that came to my rescue when I was a black USC student listening in class to white
    kids say slavery was a net positive. Or when a baseball booster expressed disbelief that my roommate and I had both received academic scholarships (two of our friends, Jewish brothers from Westchester, checked her). Or when, elevator doors opened on us and a professor exclaimed, “The hood is here!” And on and on, for six years. Even after the election of a black president.

    So when I read a tweet by some dude who hasn’t been in college for 35+ years — didn’t attend college as an ethnic minority, probably didn’t attend USC — and it starts:

    Three universities—Columbia, USC, and now Yale—find themselves in quagmires rooted in their unprincipled and shortsighted embrace of identity politics.

    …it’s he doesn’t know he’s spewing nonsense and should stop assuming expertise where he has none.

    “Identity politics” is used here just like “woke,” “DEI,” and “CRT”: an empty buzzword co-opted by reactionary old men ignorant of the origins, bastardized and redefinedas “social changes that benefit uppity minorities and make me uncomfortable.”

    He knows nothing about student life at USC. He doesn’t know what adults at USC are and aren’t doing to balance interests at a university with tens of thousands of charges, and a private workforce that is the largest in LA County.

    If he tried to run USC — with his unearned confidence to give lectures about how universities should be run — he would fail spectacularly. His statement is on a lame, reductive, and rather stupid caricature of academia pushed by know-nothing Philistines. What’s roosting here is the hypocrisy of those who want to destroy higher education because they know the more educated people are, the less they can be manipulated by rightwing propaganda and scarewords like “DEI” and “identity politics.”

    If all y’all armchair experts want something something done about campus antisemitism, please provide details. Administrators would love to know your magic formula. But to try to use black students to justify your position. Nah. Leave us out of it.

    12
  59. DK says:

    @Andy:

    My preference is for a return to institutional neutrality.

    Return. Ha. Make America Great Again.

    That means that students will occasionally deal with the discomfort of exposure to ideas they don’t like or having to bear the thought of people they hate or oppose visiting the campus for a day or two.

    Occasionally? Black students deal with racists on campus every day. Charlie Kirk has been bringing his MAGA white supremacy act to student-sponsored events for nearly a decade, without any statements from the White House, New York Times think pieces, or imaginary “DEI police” vetoes. So has Ben Shapiro, who as a kindred spirit was invited by the Times to eulogize Rush Limbaugh, an anti-black, anti-gay radio host.

    So maybe the “grow the fuck up” admonishment is for those of you freaking out about some bored brats waving Palestinian flags and chanting “From the River to the Sea?” If black folk pulled their kids out of school every time someone who hates blacks coughed in their direction, black students wouldn’t ever be able to fucking graduate.

    13
  60. Andy says:

    @DK:

    As I noted, I think there needs to be a consistent standard that is applied consistently. You apparently disagree with the standard I’ve laid out, which is fine, but you’ve offered no alternative. So what is your alternative?

    As for your comparison to what’s going on now as “free speech” it ceases to be free speech when you impede people’s movement, disrupt the operation of the University, and deny other students access to the education benefit they are there for.

    What they are doing is much more than Charlie Kirk coming on campus for a day and giving a speech. If there was a mass group of masked racist students akin to the KKK that took over part of campus, limited the movement of black students, tolerated messages like “go back to Africa,” was supported by a walkout by the bulk of professors, had an eliminationist ideology, then your comparison would be valid. And it would also be valid for black preachers to recommend that black students stay away for their own safety. As onerous as Kirk and Shapiro may be, their coming on campus for an “event’ is not at all analogous to what’s going on at Columbia and other campuses, which has been building up for the last six months and is now culminating.

    Regardless, my point is that universities need to have policies and apply them fairly and equally. And clearly, they have not done that. It really does seem that some people want two sets of rules – one set for certain groups and another set for others. Well, if that’s the case, have fun defending that illegal construct in court. The reality is that if you want to ban Kirk and Shapiro for being too offensive, then universities have to be consistent and also ban others.

    As far as what I mean by “grow the fuck up,” I don’t have a lot of tolerance for the whiny concerns of privileged college students at America’s most elite universities. They are already, by definition, in some of the most privileged and safest spaces on the planet by virtue of attending the most elite universities. They, more than most anyone else, ought to be exposed to uncomfortable ideas and at least get a safe, academic exposure to some of the harsh realities that exist in the real world. Universities are supposed to be uncomfortable and expose students to new ideas and challenge them. Students who demand to be protected from supposedly racist party invitations, Halloween costumes, microaggressions, a Ben Shapiro event, or even a free Gaza Event happening somewhere on campus need to grow the fuck up. Administrators should, IMO, stop coddling them. Obviously, administrators need to do their due diligence and investigate any incidents of discrimination or violation of policies that come to their attention. In your case, I hope that USC did that.

    3
  61. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Here’s a clue: the Warsaw ghetto was genocide. The Nazis were not allowing thousands of trucks worth of food and medicine into the Warsaw ghetto. You see the difference there?

    Meanwhile, Israel is blocking trucks of food and medicine into Gaza, accusing the UNRWA of terrorism (and never giving evidence) to get them out, and recently killed some more aid workers.

    Yeah, I’m having some problems seeing the difference.

    7
  62. Gustopher says:

    And I favor just giving a spare Dakota to Israel, and letting them resettle there. Whole independent country. Or let them take over the state. Their choice. We would have to bolster the existing Indian reservations there, because Israelis have shown that they don’t play well with their neighbors.

    It’s not like we really need two Dakotas. We have a plethora of Dakotas. Probably too many Dakotas.

    We can haul some dirt from Israel, to satisfy the “god gave this land to his chosen people” similar to how the wire around Manhattan allows the Jewish folk there to wander about and do light work on the sabbath — satisfying technical requirements.

  63. Gustopher says:

    @Andy:

    Yeah, you’re the guy that wanted to kick a student out of college for failing to bend the knee to the DEI police over a supposedly offensive party invitation, but when it comes to yelling, “Go home to Poland,” or “October 7th is going to be every day for you” then your attitude is fuck their feelings. It’s hard for me to imagine a standard that allows one but not the other that isn’t discriminatory, but perhaps you can explain how you’re ok with one but not the other.

    The first example is performative assholery and doubling down when given an easy out. There was no larger cause than performative assholery, and he was given an easy out but wanted to martyr himself. Fuck him and his performative assholery. He wants to be a martyr, let him.

    The second is in the context of a larger protest of fairly serious shit. And the actual antisemitic statements (of which there are some, but relatively few), should get some consequences.

    I don’t see why the first douchebag should get the option of performative contrition, while the second douchebags shouldn’t.

    It’s college. You’re supposed to be teaching the students, and giving them a chance to be better. Douchebag #1 didn’t want that chance. Douchebags #2 should be given the chance.

    And the rest of the protestors shouldn’t be punished for the actions of douchebags #2.

    Really very simple. But it’s nice of you to remember me anyway.

    1
  64. Gustopher says:

    A bit more of a general poin than just these protests, but…

    @Andy:

    [blah, blah, blah] somewhere on campus need to grow the fuck up. Administrators should, IMO, stop coddling them.

    Coddling students and giving them space to grow up with lesser consequences is one of the big jobs of college. It’s something I wish a lot of the non-college kids got — a gentler space where they can be too loud or make small-to-medium mistakes and learn from them.

    Light coddle and redirection, and then the fist if they don’t accept the coddling and redirection.

    “Congratulations, you’re an adult now and face full adult consequences with your barely developed brain!” is not the best policy. We have a lot of kids in jail because of that.

    4
  65. Modulo Myself says:

    @Andy:

    Students who demand to be protected from supposedly racist party invitations, Halloween costumes, microaggressions, a Ben Shapiro event, or even a free Gaza Event happening somewhere on campus need to grow the fuck up. Administrators should, IMO, stop coddling them. Obviously, administrators need to do their due diligence and investigate any incidents of discrimination or violation of policies that come to their attention. In your case, I hope that USC did that.

    When I was in college there were definitely fields where professors had tons of power and used it in various ways. I had a friend who ghosted op-eds for a ‘star’ and these op-eds ended up in the Times, all in a loose non-sexual quid-pro-quo about access which was ingrained in the way favoritism worked. And a woman entering certain fields like analytic philosophy was going to encounter a ton of pressure by male profs to go along with their borderline line-crossing. And there were also rich frat types who threw parties with 40s and gangsta/ghetto themes with some people winking and nodding and others cringing, but no one intelligent being fooled.

    Honestly, this is what ‘microagression’ was originally aimed at. Just bullshit passive-aggressive behavior which nobody really misses and few want to recreate. And it’s gone along with grad students organizing and unionizing. It’s obviously being used as a form of aggression, just like anything else, but that’s what happens with everything.

    As far as coddling goes, colleges have always coddled people. In fancy places, they expect you to push the limits and try new things with no consequences. This hasn’t changed, except that they’ve expanded the field of who can do it. And more importantly, Ben Shapiro is a stunt. He does not belong on a college campus. Post-colonial theory and settler-colonialism do. Colleges have never been places to recreate the free speech of the stupidest parts of America.

    2
  66. DK says:

    @Andy:

    It really does seem that some people want two sets of rules – one set for certain groups and another set for others…The reality is that if you want to ban Kirk and Shapiro for being too offensive, then universities have to be consistent and also ban others. As far as what I mean by “grow the fuck up,” I don’t have a lot of tolerance for the whiny concerns of privileged college students at America’s most elite universities.

    Quite a 180. Trump voters include majorities of America’s most privileged and protected demographics. Some opined it was time hold them accountable for their votes, rather than coddling and letting them use whining about the media, immigrants, the Deep State, wokeness, DEI, and CRT as an excuse.

    You indicated calling 60 year old white farmers whiny was bigoted and counterproductive. Now the need for tolerance and gentle persuasion is gone with 20 year olds whose protest you dislike.

    Yeah, some really do want different rules for different groups. But it’s not black students, nor university admin. Black students already suck it up. School officials are already decline to officially intervene when white supremacists come to campus.

    Those wanting inconsistent standards are y’all parsing hate speech to find reasons why speech you don’t like should be shut down: this type of hate speech is unacceptably onerous, that type can proceed. Or desperate comparisons linking 19 year olds to the KKK, a murderous gang. Or the laughable idea students having to detour around campus demonstrations is some dangerous new crisis.

    I offered no alternative, because I and my Jewish friends alike already did the suck it bit. I can’t imagine us crying about “my movement is being restricted!” or “I’m feeling unsafe” every time we had to detour around some stupid sit-in or die-in. And to their credit, I don’t see many actual students pleading inordinate distress now. On both sides, it looks like the increased tension is from outside adults meddling. Whether Susan Sarandon showing up to show solidarity (gurl, bye), or Robert Kraft decrying campus hate (like we’re not supposed to notice he supports birther bigot Trump).

    Columbia University’s campus is a bunch of buildings and tiny quads scattered around NYC. This provides easy access for the inflammatory antics of outsiders. A problem of logistics, not standards.

    Columbia admin should keep doing what it’s doing: disciplining students who break code and working with the law enforcement to remove outside agigators. It should not bend to the uniformed demands of outside agitators from online — keyboard warriors who are unaffiliated yet convinced that they speak for Columbia’s Jewish students (they don’t), that they are experts on what university administration (they aren’t), and that their “apply consistent standards fairly” platitude is some magic solution the age-old dilemmas of a) balancing security with speech and b) molding humans whose brains are ten years short of chemical maturity.

    Gee, it’s so easy, anybody could solve it. The reason school officials haven’t is because they’re Jew-hating wokesters. That must be it.

    4
  67. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The ‘G’ word is used inappropriately in an effort to diminish the historical reality of the Holocaust.

    The Holocaust was not unique in anything other than some of the methods and a bit of scale*. It would be great if it was a unique evil that was so beyond the pale that humanity would never sink to that level before or since. But that’s just not true, and claiming it is is placing Jewish suffering above all others.

    Pol Pot, Mao, and Stalin are the biggies, but there’s also Rwanda, Bosnia, Armenia, and countless others including Gaza, our treatment of the Native Americans and England’s handling of the potato famine.

    Claiming that the Holocaust was unique absolves everyone else of any responsibility to prevent a repeat elsewhere. It’s honestly kind of offensive.

    “Never Again” doesn’t mean anything if we accept the smaller or less flashy mass slaughters by claiming they don’t meet the lofty standards set by Hitler.

    *: Stalin and Mao got about the same scale.

    6
  68. Andy says:

    @Gustopher:

    Yeah, interesting. You say you want to coddle students, and they shouldn’t be treated like adults, but unless they refuse to sign a confession for a bullshit thought crime, then it’s one strike and expulsion. Over a fucking party invitation. If one is actually interested in students learning and growing, then you don’t do that with hard-ball HR tactics. Let’s apply your standard here to 20-something Gustopher in college making regular semi-serious “jokes” about the ethnic cleansing of Jews to put them on a reservation in a Dakota. Sign the confession or get expelled.

    @DK:

    You indicated calling 60 year old white farmers whiny was bigoted and counterproductive. Now the need for tolerance and gentle persuasion is gone with 20 year olds whose protest you dislike.

    No, it’s not a 180 at all.

    Yeah, I’m against calling broad categories of millions of people names or claiming that they are all bad or bigoted or whatever – something you have no problem doing. Call me old fashioned; I’m against, on principle, insulting groups or individuals merely because of such general and usually intrinsic characteristics. That actually includes privileged students at elite colleges.

    My point isn’t that privileged college students are bad, or bigoted, or should be condemned – they aren’t and shouldn’t be. And if you look back at this thread, you’ll see that I haven’t condemned them, only specific instances of bad behavior by some of them. My beef is really with administrators who have for too long caved to notions of “safetyism” at inconsequential “threats” among this cohort.

    Gee, it’s so easy, anybody could solve it. The reason school officials haven’t is because they’re Jew-hating wokesters. That must be it.

    I never said it was easy. But it sure is a lot harder when incoherent policies come back to bite you in the ass, as they have in the last six months.

    Columbia admin should keep doing what it’s doing

    Yeah, they are doing a great job! And yeah, there’s nothing to see here; it’s all fine if it weren’t for outside adults meddling. That’s why the school has canceled in-person classes for the rest of the semester for safety reasons and brought in the NYPD. Clearly, this is just the same kind of stupid sit-in you and your Jewish friends detoured around when you were in school. No difference at all. The shit that’s been going on since October 8th, 2023, is all completely normal.

    Whatever dude, I don’t really have a dog in this fight. You’re right, I’m a keyboard warrior from the outside, as are you. But we both can have opinions, and express them. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out in the end, especially with the Title VI lawsuits, and I bet more are coming.

    2
  69. JKB says:

    Remember going to an “elite” status school only matters if you drink the Koolaid. Otherwise, your ring will knock hollow on those closed doors.

    Go to a state school
    The Ivy League and other elite private colleges are losing esteem — and they deserve it.

    NATE SILVER. APR 23, 2024

  70. Gustopher says:

    @Andy:

    Let’s apply your standard here to 20-something Gustopher in college making regular semi-serious “jokes” about the ethnic cleansing of Jews to put them on a reservation in a Dakota.

    Is it ethnic cleansing if they go voluntarily? No sticks, just carrots. At the very least it would be a new form of ethnic cleansing never really tried before, so instead of making the same mistakes over and over, it would be new mistakes.

    And not a reservation! You keep talking about reservations, but it’s m just offering a spare Dakota. Probably the southern one, unless Canada is ok with sharing that border. (We also have a West Virginia, and a spare Carolina. I’m willing to consider a Wyoming, even though we only have one.)

    US citizenship if they want it. Free travel of the United States. Offer them the same deal we offer Cubans. We just have the army corps of engineers move some dirt and that wall they like to wail at to a Dakota. Make it a cultural center that they want to stay near. Keeps us from messing up the Senate.

    Or a country! Really, whatever level of independence they want. I don’t care. They’ve had nothing but misery where they are. It’s probably why they keep wailing at that wall.

    I would also happily accept a multiethnic and secular state in Israel-Palestine. Or a separate Palestinian state next to Israel.

    If they can find a new homeland for the Palestinians, and are willing to foot the bill, I’m ok with that too. I don’t think the US would be a particularly welcoming homeland for 3M Palestinians, so I don’t present that as an option.

    What they are doing now isn’t working. 1200 Israeli Jews and 34,000 Palestinians since October 7th would agree that it’s not working.

    It’s time for new ideas, and thinking outside the box.

    unless they refuse to sign a confession for a bullshit thought crime, then it’s one strike and expulsion. Over a fucking party invitation.

    Ok, you say it’s over a party invitation, and a bullshit thought crime, and normal people would say it’s about understanding that their actions have effects on others in a shared environment.

    And the option to understand that after fucking it up, which is a deal that basically no one gets in real life. In a work environment they would just get their ass fired.

    But, more to the point, I want the students who shout antisemitic shit at these rallies to get that same treatment as that douchebag. If you think that douchebag was treated poorly, then you should want the other douchebags to get to shout antisemitic shit with no consequences too. I favor consequences, including a path to redemption.

  71. Andy says:

    @Gustopher:

    The idea that Jews will go voluntarily to the Dakotas as a problem-solving solution is the kind of idea that I would attribute to an Alex Jones LSD trip. It is so out there in terms of implausibility and political impossibility that it’s not even fodder for a political novel. But hey, you be you.

    And the option to understand that after fucking it up, which is a deal that basically no one gets in real life. In a work environment they would just get their ass fired.

    First, the complaints against the guy were “triggering” not only because of the supposedly bad words he used but also because he was in the Federalist Society, so it was pretty clear from the beginning that this was not just about some supposed harm from slang a couple of students didn’t like.

    Secondly, he said he wouldn’t sign the pre-drafted apology and instead suggested discussing this personally with his peers who were offended to work things out, but the administration’s response was, “I don’t want to make our office look like an ineffective source of resolution.”

    The next day, the university took the side of the complaining students, declaring that the invitation contained “pejorative and racist language. We condemn this in the strongest possible terms.”

    So the student offered to settle the issue like an adult—directly with the offended students. The administration refused because it wanted to—apparently—be bureaucratically relevant, and when that was denied, they sought to destroy his reputation by going public and describing the content of the invitation as pejorative and racist, but not including the content for people to judge for themselves.

    If that’s how HR works in your world, then pity on anyone who works there.

    1
  72. DK says:

    @Andy:

    Yeah, they are doing a great job! And yeah, there’s nothing to see here; it’s all fine if it weren’t for outside adults meddling.

    Right. If school administrators can’t manage to keep things 100% perfect, 100% of the time at schools with tens of thousands students and thousands of employees no matter what’s going on in the world, then they’re doing an awful job, and are just terrible woksters who hate Jews.

    There can’t possibly be any other explanation for why order sometimes breaks down in massive institutions that deal with shifting generations of young people reacting to world upheavels. Only someone terrible at their job could make errors while trying to balance interests in their responses to unprecedented events.

    They’re just failing at their jobs because something something identity politics something something DEI. But not for that, things on campus after 7 Oct would’ve gone super duper smoothly. Sure!

    2
  73. DK says:

    Jonathan Ben-Menachem: I Am a Jewish Student at Columbia. Don’t Believe What You’re Being Told About ‘Campus Antisemitism’

    The White House, Congressional Republicans, and cable news talking heads would have you believe that the Columbia University campus has devolved into a hotbed of antisemitic violence – but the reality on the ground is very different. As a Jewish student at Columbia, it depresses me that I have to correct the record and explain what the real risk to our safety looks like. I still can’t quite believe how the events on campus over the past few days have been so cynically and hysterically misrepresented by the media and by our elected representatives…

    Oh.

    The misrepresentation is very believable, once you see the source, and the usual suspects falling for it.

    4
  74. DK says:

    @Andy:

    Yeah, I’m against calling broad categories of millions of people names or claiming that they are all bad or bigoted or whatever – something you have no problem doing…And if you look back at this thread, you’ll see that I haven’t condemned them, only specific instances of bad behavior by some of them.

    Ha. Sure bro. Like we can’t look back over the thread and see you calling student demonstrators whiny eliminationist antisemites analagous to the KKK taking over part of campus.

    You may love to play the holier-than-thou role, but no amount of self-congratulatory smugness can unring that bell.

    But if you want to change your mind, reverse course, and admit these students are not so bad, then it turns out the black students sucking it up despite being “made to feel unsafe” by white supremacists had a bigger complaint all along, doesn’t it?

    5
  75. Gustopher says:

    @Andy:

    The idea that Jews will go voluntarily to the Dakotas as a problem-solving solution is the kind of idea that I would attribute to an Alex Jones LSD trip.

    Look, I don’t like the Dakotas either. They’re terrible.

    But there isn’t a lot of empty land, and the Israeli Jews don’t really have a lot of better options if they want a Jewish country. Israel itself is about a third Muslim, and a Jewish country with a massive Muslim minority is clearly not stable long-term. Or even short-term.

    The idea that the Israeli government can bomb and starve their unwanted population into submission forever is even more farcical than someone voluntarily moving to a Dakota.

    3
  76. Gustopher says:

    @Andy:

    Secondly, he said he wouldn’t sign the pre-drafted apology and instead suggested discussing this personally with his peers who were offended to work things out, but the administration’s response was, “I don’t want to make our office look like an ineffective source of resolution.”

    Or, you can look at it from a standpoint of not giving someone unfettered access to the people they have been harassing to “discuss” things.

    Should the tiny number of pro-Palestine protesters at Columbia who were shouting “Death to Jews” or whatever be given the opportunity to discuss it with the Jews in question? Should such a violation of a campus wide code of conduct be settled without the involvement of the college administration?

    If that’s how HR works in your world, then pity on anyone who works there.

    Dude, you should spend some time with HR. They are professionally offended. Their job is literally to be offended before anyone else can be.

  77. Gustopher says:

    NYPD has apparently brought out the Counterterrorism Task Force, because some kids shouting things about Israel is clearly terrorism.

    https://x.com/loffredojeremy/status/1782994615391449360

    3